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Lawyer Ponders Sandusky Witness Stand Decision

Posted on Jul 23, 2012

Now that the Jerry Sandusky trial is over and Sandusky has been convicted of 45 of 48 counts charging him with abusing 10 boys over 15 years, it is interesting to reflect back on whether Sandusky should have taken the witness stand in his own defense.

Jerry Sandusky, according to many, did not come across well in his interviews with Bob Costas and the New York Times. Sandusky’s name appeared on the witness list during his trial, but his attorney, Joe Amendola, decided not put him on the stand.

York personal injury lawyer Scott Cooper, President Elect of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and attorney at Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers says the decision to put a defendant on the witness stand depends on several factors. Cooper put it like this: “What’s the risk versus the reward? Anytime you put the defendant up there, he’s open to cross-examination.” Cooper continued, “As long as you create reasonable doubt in one jurors mind, there’s absolutely no need for your client to take the stand.” 

In February 2012, Pennsylvania State Representative Bill DeWeese took the witness stand in his own defense and was convicted of conspiracy, conflict of interest and three counts of theft for using public funds for political purposes.  He received a 30-60 month prison sentence.

In June 2012, major league baseball star Roger Clemens was acquitted on all charges of perjury—he did not take the witness stand. Other high-profile defendants such as Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, and John Edwards were acquitted of charges against them—none of them took the witness stand.

It is not surprising that attorney Joe Amendola decided not to have Sandusky take the witness stand in his own defense since this can be a risky move. However, due to the overwhelming evidence against him, it appears that it did not matter anyway.

Scott Cooper followed the Sandusky trial very closely and served as an expert commentator for CBS channel 21 news. If you have suffered an injury and need assistance, contact the experienced trial lawyers at Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers.  The toll-free number is (717) 888-8888 and the case review is free.

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